Let's get one thing straight. This is not my review of Murdered: Soul Suspect as I am only two hours in to the game. To write a review at that point would be ridiculous. Instead, I had to put down my Playstation 4 controller and contemplate some of the issues that went through my mind in those initial hours. "Screw it, I'll write a blog piece instead" as I need to iron some issues out with you guys.
Having heard other reviewers score Murdered: Soul Suspect, dreadful ratings like 4/10, 5.5/10 and so forth, I went in to the game with low expectations. Within the first ten minutes, I was waiting for the disaster moment. What I was greeted with was very different: "Here is a damn fine concept" with me playing as Ronan O'Connor, a seemingly troubled Salem Police Detective. No spoilers here, as usual but my perception of Ronan was that he appeared determined from the start. I liked that about him which was not what I was expecting.
Graphically, Murdered clearly lacked polish but as I've gotten older (yes at age 31) I have become less concerned with graphics and more concerned with feeling the story of a game. Within my two hours here, I am definitely feeling the story of this dark detective thriller and oddly, I am still left wondering why other reviewers slammed this game to hell? If you guys have played this then I'd really like to hear your thoughts in the comments box or on my Facebook group.
My current play time rewarded with some cool, ghostly abilities, such as drifting through walls and transporting and hiding amongst ghostly residue. Definitely a fun factor for me. In the early parts of the game and utilising some of these abilities, there were two missions that required Ronan's detective skills to hone in by collecting evidence. Once collected the evidence would add the next piece to the story. Piecing together the puzzle pieces is a pretty basic premise but one in which I felt compelled by. What Murdered did well was to play on my emotions. Death is the final part of life, a part that I am uncomfortable with, sad about and uneasy and made even more horrific by being murdered. Airtight Games, the developers of Murdered: Soul Suspect set that emotional scene very well in the early parts of the game. I am ready to play more and so far I am not agreeing with the shameful 5.5/10 (ahem IGN) score amongst other unfavourable scores.
Airtight Games, an independent game developer unfortunately died one month after their final release; Murdered Soul Suspect. There's a twist of irony in there somewhere but it does not seem fitting that Murdered was apparently the catalyst for the closure of the studio. I simply cannot see why? Clearly, not so Airtight after all. Nevertheless, I hope that I do not find that disaster moment as I play through the remainder of my campaign. I hope that I can continue to enjoy it. Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments box below. Now back to my Playstation 4 controller.
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Gemma ~ @juicygamereview
Over the last few weeks I've been sat on my sofa with my Turtle Beach P12 headset strapped on playing the shit out of Alien Isolation. I sat in on the developer session at Eurogamer back in September and I made a point of asking the following question afterwards "We all know that Colonial Marines was a failure. With that failure, what pressures did you feel in delivering the Alien we have all been waiting for?" I learned that Alien Isolation was being developed by Creative Assembly long before the release of Colonial Marines and the dev team had their own drive to deliver. But it is worth the hype and did they deliver?
I've heard complaints about the game being too linear. Here's my take on this. Overall, I did not find the campaign linear at all. Whilst the game requires certain tasks to be completed in order to progress, I found myself with a lot of choices to make. There were numerous corridors to choose which route I should go and choices between combat style, namely, to run and gun or stealth? If you add the varying levels of tensity to the campaign, I found this to overrule the more linear aspects. Have you ever played a game that doesn't hold your concentration because it's boring and linear? Playing Alien Isolation is not like that. I felt very alert and engrossed which helped me to maintain my focus the quieter areas of the game.
Graphically, this game packed some serious taste. Cut scenes in particular showcased the refined details on the faces of Amanda and her team. Skin pores, stubble (no, not on Amanda), wrinkle lines and blemishes were all present, adding to reality of the experience. During the live game play, I felt insanely happy with the smoothness of the frame rate alongside the glorious graphics. Oooohhhh could it get any better?
We know that our main protagonist is Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley and the story is set 15 years after the events of Alien and 42 years before Aliens. I thought that this was the perfect recipe for Alien Isolation as we are not given much information about Amanda Ripley in the films.
I purchased the Ripley Edition of Alien Isolation which came bundled with the Crew Expendable and Lone Survivor Ripley DLC. I dived straight in to the main campaign before anything. Instantly, I felt a buzz when I heard the amazing sound effects and iconic music. Creative Assembly were given access to the actual sound files from the original film so I knew that I was hearing some first class Alien nostalgia. I found the sound effects and music score to an absolute impeccable aspect to the game. Those sounds of falling water droplets hitting metallic surfaces, the loading of a new canister in to the flame thrower and the intermittent beeps of the motion tracker all added to the tense atmosphere of Alien Isolation. I would highly recommend that you play Alien Isolation using a headset as I found a truer immersion.
Writing this without any spoilers is difficult but let's just say that the introduction of the Alien was timely! I felt that it was introduced at the right point in the game which was not too early and not too late. At this point, the game dynamic changed for me. Be warned that you'll need to change your tactics in order to progress through the dark, labyrinth of Sevastopol. Creative Design did a good job a mimicking the fright brought on by the Xenomorph. Here's a small gripe, I felt that the Alien seemed too agile at times. I remember it as a stealthier creature in the original film and I would have hoped that this would have been captured more. Nonetheless, the Alien still packs a bloody punch. If I made the slightest sound or came in to its view, I was toast. It looked great, sounded the part and showed no mercy at all.
The Sevastopol felt like a dangerous place when the lights went down. Creative Design were granted access to stills and footage from the original set design so the environments seemed absolutely spot on. From medical decks to locker rooms, hyper sleep chambers, kitchen areas and the 70's style computer terminals, Alien Isolation had it all. I was so pleased with the like for like nature from Alien. Practically, my navigation skills seemed to fail me at times. I felt overburdened with too many corridors and passage ways. I used the map a lot which helped me to plan my way but the constant switching to the map made me lose my tempo at times.
Overall, Alien Isolation definitely lived up up to the hype. Aside from a few of my own picky issues, I was absolutely hooked on the atmosphere of this game. The beauty lies within blending of the sound on top of the game play. The final product is fantastic! Alien Isolation deserves a 9 out of 10 from Juicy Game Reviews.
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By now we should all know that Hyrule Warriors is not a typical Zelda game in the sense that there is no dungeon crawling. This is a spin off game that mimics the Dynasty Warrior franchise, an awesome, tactical, fast paced action series. The aim is to take over points of the map, thus eliminating enemy lines. Hyrule Warriors adds in all of the familiar characters and scenery that I have loved since discovering Link in the 90s. Hyrule field, Epona and a stack of characters that I love. Hyrule Warriors is a refreshing break for the Wii U. A break that I have longed for since the start of the console.
So what is great about this game? Hyrule Warriors is top heavy with nostalgia from previous Zelda titles. My personal favourites were the Deku Tree and Gohma. When I saw the Deku Tree it reminded me of the first time I saw this mammoth tree in Ocarina Of Time. Oh what a quality moment of my gaming history. The Deku Tree looked just as gorgeous as it did back in Ocarina; mystical, grand and peaceful. The developers did a great job in conveying the nostalgia.
Hyrule Warriors currently has 13 playable characters with a further three confirmed as playable in future free DLC. This breaks down as 10 characters from the Hero category and 3 from the enemies. Naturally, my favourite was Link. I found Link to be posses a better range of weapons and abilities. The magic Fire Rod in particular felt powerful. Other hero characters were active on the battlefield alongside me. I'm usually skeptical of a team approach but I felt indifferent about it in Hyrule Warriors. I was annoyed to learn that if one of your characters died then the game ended and I had to start form the last save. That's a definite pain in the backside aspect of the game that forced me to change my tactics. My team seemed to do the exact same thing if I had to repeat a part of a mission. As soon as I changed my tactic (for example back tracked to an area to help other characters) I was able to proceed. That made me question the point of being part of a team? On the plus side, the other characters proved to be an asset at times. You guys may hold a different view.
Battle mechanics. Oh battle mechanics! I used the game pad to play Hyrule Warriors which is never my preferred choice. I think I would have preferred the standard controller (must purchase one). As soon as I learnt each move I felt more confident. Battles were not as simple as button mashing at first but I felt as though I'd evolved to this after the second mission. Having returned to the game over and over, I found myself having to relearn the controls each time. This may seem trivial to you and I suppose it varies from person to person. However, I'm nit usually as forgetful. I would have preferred a button mashing approach of that in Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls. This was a minor hiccup from my Hyrule experience which has left me wanting to try it with a standard controller.
Other cool aspects of Hyrule Warriors can be found in the mini quests of collecting the gold Skulltula's. Skultula's popped up randomly during play. Again, I liked this slice of nostalgia. The developers did a great job in delivering this.
Hyrule Warriors was a satisfying journey through familiar ground. The best parts are the cross overs to previous Zelda games. Despite this, I am looking forward to dragging my Master Sword back through the dungeons when The Legend of Zelda is released in 2015. I'd rate Hyrule Warriors an 8 out of 10.
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